Do you fondly remember stories told by friends and relatives? The St. Tammany Parish Library will host a six-week series of readings and discussions about the folktales and storytelling traditions of Louisiana and the South as a region.  The program, entitled "Folktales and Stories of the South and Louisiana", is part of the Readings in Literature and Culture (RELIC) series administered by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.  The six-week series will be held on from5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays from April 8 to May 13 at the Causeway Branch, 3457 Hwy 190, Mandeville.

"Folktales and Stories” will be conducted by Dr. Susan Blalock, an emeritus professor who has taught literature at St. Joseph Seminary College, the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, and Virginia Tech.  The program will examine the folktales primarily from Anglo, African and Acadian traditions in Louisiana and the South.  The six sessions are: 1) The Devil, Ghosts and the Role of Magic in the South and Louisiana; 2) Stories about “Why the World Is” and Human Affairs in the South; 3) Tales about People (Clever & Simple) in the South and Louisiana; 4) Animal Tales and Trickster Stories in the South and Louisiana; 5) Hero Stories in Black and White; 6) Reader’s Choice: Swapping Stories from Louisiana. During the May 6 and May 13 sessions, participants can share their own stories and be recorded if they so choose.

Texts to be used include: “Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana” edited by Carl Lindahl, Maida Owens and C. Renée Harvison;“Cajun Folktales” by J. J. Reneaux; “Afro-American Folktales: Stories from the Black Tradition in the New World” by Roger Abrahams; and “Storytellers: Folktales and Legends from the South” by John Burrison.

“Louisiana has a colorful and rich story telling tradition that has spanned many generations,” Jim Segreto, Director of RELIC, observed. He added, “A meeting ground for various Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans, and as a player in much of the history of the United States, Louisiana displays an exceptionally diverse cultural variety which this program will endeavor to illuminate via the oral tradition recorded in texts.”

The RELIC program is free and open to the public. RELIC was previously funded by the State of Louisiana, but state budget cuts to the LEH required the library to step up with its own funding to prevent a disruption of this highly popular annual cultural event.  Those interested in attending must register in advance and borrow books used for the program at the Causeway Branch Library by April 4. Participation in the program is limited to 24 adults. For more information call 893-6280, extension 120.


Last updated 10/10/2012
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